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Promontory Point, Chicago

4.3
#43 of 44 in Parks in Chicago
Promontory Point is a man-made peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan. It is located in Chicago's Burnham Park. The Point was constructed from landfill and by the late 1930s was protected by a seawall or revetment. The revetment was designed and constructed by Chicago Park District engineers and consists of limestone blocks arranged in a series of four steps leading to a promenade.
Located on Chicago Park District land at 55th Street in Chicago's south side Hyde Park neighborhood, it was opened to the public in 1937. Alfred Caldwell, a disciple of Jens Jensen, designed the landscaping, following the Prairie School which uses native plants and stone. Caldwell's design featured a raised "meadow" section in the center of the 12acre peninsula and included hundreds of flowering trees and shrubs. In 1938, Caldwell created stone sitting rings - called "council rings" - around the lakefront edge, which today are used as fire pits. Few of Caldwell's original plantings remain today.
The park is accessed by the Lakefront Trail, and a tunnel which passes under Lake Shore Drive at the east end of 55th Street. At the head of the park, seen immediately upon emerging from the 55th Street tunnel, is the David Wallach Memorial Fountain. This fountain was designed in 1939 by Elizabeth and Frederick Hibbard in the shape of a fawn, with drinking areas at human and animal levels. During the Cold War the park also housed a 150ft radar tower for the Nike Hercules missile defense system; it was dismantled in 1971.
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Promontory Point Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
5 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Although I was born, raised, and live in Chicago, I had never been to Promontory Point until last Saturday. What a beautiful place-city view, lake access, family friendly and so much more. We brought ...  more »
  • We went with the Metra to 59th, and looked at the University and have gone to the Museum of science, then this magnificent lookout point and then to the 55/56/57th station. It was a terrific trip. From the start you have unusually good views of the distant downtown with all the skyscrapers and the stones directly on the water invite background out of photo spot with grandiose skyscrapers. The long way out is worth from the inner city.
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  • I attended a wedding here with my girlfriend and her family. I loved the area, and it had a very nice view of the water and skyline! The walk around the area was very nice as well. The only downside is that it was very hot, and although the way the building was set up to create a breeze through the doors, it seems like they weren't running any fans or AC to help keep people cool on a 90+ degree day.
  • Beautiful year round! It’s one of the most beautiful spots on the city. Come for a picnic (bring your grill or use the fire pit), a nap, a swim, a bike, a run. On the north end, a view of the skyline. On the south end, a view of beach and museum. Plenty of space for your dog to run around. Parking can be tough especially when the weather is nice, but the parking along South Shore Drive is free. No matter where you park, you’ll have a little walk beneath Lake Shore Dr. to get to the Point so keep that in mind when thinking about all the stuff you’ll be carrying.

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